Firstly I have to say that I’m really not interested in gear, my cameras are tools of work. Since buying my first camera in 1999, a second hand Pentax P30T with a Vivitar zoom lens I have had as few cameras as possible. Changing only when it has been necessary to produce a higher quality of work or better my workflow. To bring you up to date my cameras have been;
Pentax P30T 35mm Slr, Nikon f65, Nikon F100 w 17-35 Sigma, 28-80 Nikon, 70-300 Nikon, 105 Macro (Sigma). Pentax 67 with 105mm lens (a kind gift from a friend who no longer used it), 45mm and 200mm Pentax lenses. Ebony RSW45 w Schneider 90mm Super Angulon. Then in 2005 everything got sold to buy my Ebony45su, keeping the 90mm lens but adding a Rodenstock 135mm lens, Schneider 180mm and Fujinon 300T. I also owned for a short while a Schneider Super Angulon 72XL. I also had a Nikon D70 for a short time which never got used.
So what’s in my bag today as I head out?
Ebony 45su field camera. Schneider 90mm lens. Rodenstock 135mm lens. Schneider 180mm lens. Fujinon 300mm lens. Panasonic Lumix GF1 with 14-45mm zoom lens. Pentax digital spot meter (Zone VI modified). Lee filter holder. 2xLee 0.3 grads, 1x 0.45 grad, 2x 0.6 grads, 1x 0.75 grad, 1x 0.9 grad, 1x 0.75/81b combination grad, 1x 0.45/81a combination grad (all grads hard or v hard), 81a, 81b, 85c, Heliopan circular polarizer/81b. 6x Fidelity Elite Double Darkslides, four with Fuji Velvia 50, two with Fuji Provia 100F. Gnassgear Darkcloth. Rodenstock 4xloupe. Cable release plus spare. Headtorch. Spare batteries for spotmeter, headtorch and watch. Midge net. Buff. Bottle of water. Meusli Bars. Gitzo or Benro three section carbon fibre tripod with Manfrotto 410 geared head.
On overnight sorties on the hill I ditch one lens to suit ( A Chamonix camera currently on order which is 1.5kgs lighter than my Ebony will avoid this sacrifice) and change the Manfrotto head for an Arca Swiss P0 head to save a further kilo. The double dark slides go too to be replaced with a quickload holder and just 12 sheets of film ( 8x Velvia50 and 4x Provia100F). Then I add extra water, dry food and a folding cup to drink from mountain streams, a Terra Nova Laser Competition tent, Thermarest Neoair 3/4 roll matt and Rab down sleeping bag (compresses down small) with silk liner if needed in cooler conditions. I do not take a stove as this adds unnessessary weight for just one or two nights away and that first cup of tea and hot meal when I get home is always a sensation.
I am still waiting to get a new camera bag to replace my ageing supertrekker but beyond that I have to plans to buy any more camera gear. Oh, except for that long lens. Oh, and the lighter tripod, and the new filters, the geared ball head, lens shade, Maxwell screen…………!!